Gov. Brown Announces Partnership to Provide Money for Solar

January 29, 2015 21:28 pm · 10 comments

State and federal leaders joined together today to start a pilot project aimed at providing more money for solar energy projects in multifamily housing in California.

“This is a long slog into the future,” Governor Jerry Brown said of the work to reduce the country’s dependence on foreign oil, reduce carbon emissions and use the sun for energy.

Assisting the state and federal effort will be the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, which has committed $10 million to the plans.

“No one tool alone is enough to get the job done,” said Debra Schwartz, the foundation’s director of impact investments.

Schwartz said she hopes the foundation will start providing money this year.

“We’re working very rapidly,” she said.

The money from the foundation will be in the form of loans, guarantees and other financial instruments, but not grants, she said.

Ophelia Basgal, regional administrator for HUD, said the agency has identified three properties in the Bay Area, all in San Francisco, where the work can begin. Basgal’s office oversees properties in California, Arizona, Hawaii, Nevada and the outer Pacific Islands.

The governor allocated $75 million for weatherizing properties and for renewable energy last year. Some of this money will be used to do energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in low income housing in disadvantaged communities.

Mercy Housing’s CEO Jane Graf, whose organization will be part of the effort, said the work will make a difference to people and the environment.

For one, the solar energy and energy efficiency projects are expected to save taxpayers and renters of affordable housing money as the projects reduce utility bills. HUD spends about $6.4 billion each year on utilities in affordable housing units and for other households, officials said.

With about one quarter of U.S. households living in multifamily housing, improving energy efficiency by 20 percent in multifamily units would reduce energy costs by $7 billion in a decade.

Also, the gains in energy efficiency nationwide in multifamily housing would reduce carbon pollution by 350 million tons in a decade, officials said.

“It’s good for the health and wealth of all Americans, Castro said.

FAILURE January 29, 2015 at 10:06 PM

Boils down to solar is not efficient enough nor a cost effective competition to fossil fuels and can not compete without government tinkering. In short they are going to continue to use YOUR taxpayer dollars to prop up an industry which could not survive in a free market system.

IF they were serious they would mandate energy companies shall buy all energy produced at a set peak market rate for a fixed period of years. Germany did so with excellent results.

Then of course there bare the campaign contributions flowing to democrats, HAVE to keep them coming.

Dorothy January 29, 2015 at 10:57 PM

Of course, the government could set a fine example and put solar on all of its buildings first.

AnonReformed January 30, 2015 at 5:39 AM

What a joke! Multifamily housing, that’s code for illegal aliens. Nice Job Moonbeam!

When electricity costs less, people use more. January 30, 2015 at 7:50 AM

The high cost is the biggest reason people try to conserve power. This isn’t going to “save” anything close to seven billion dollars.

Maybe the high speed train should be solar-powered.

Justin January 30, 2015 at 7:52 AM

@#2 – Check out your local school parking lots.

#3 – or, you know…apartments.

Sal Crispi January 30, 2015 at 8:54 AM

Aside from politics, lets look at the upside of Solar Energy:
Pros: Renewable, Abundant, Sustainable, Environmentally Friendly, Good Availability, Reduces Electricity Costs, Many Applications, Shared Solar, Silent, Financial Support from Government/State/Private Foundations, Low Maintenance, Technology is Improving and creates Jobs!
Cons: Expensive, Intermittent, Energy Storage is Expensive, Associated with Pollution, Exotic Materials, Requires Space
And it leaves the Earth in better shape for future generations!

BTW, Governor Moonbeam was in the 70’s & 80’s. Jerry Brown today is an astute politician and better Governor than we have had in quite a while. He certainly is not perfect, but he’s got my vote!

Sick Of It January 30, 2015 at 9:09 AM



ratstalker January 30, 2015 at 1:37 PM

BP Solar & Solyndra:

California Edition

Elwood January 30, 2015 at 2:27 PM

He’s still MY Moonbeam!

tired of taxes January 30, 2015 at 2:37 PM

Yup. Agree with #1. Fix the net metering laws (power companies pay retail for electricity going into the grid) and you’ll see a corresponding jump in solar installations as people take advantage of the “passive income”.
That’s the only thing that’s holding me back from going solar and maximizing every inch of roof.

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